San Francisco

BART Riders, Homeowners Split on Measure RR

One of the most contentious local issues on the November ballot for many Bay Area residents is Measure RR, a three-county bond measure that would provide $3.5 billion in upgrades to BART.

The bonds would be repaid by property owners in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties.

Some riders are eager to see the 40-year-old transit system improved and are planning to vote yes on the measure.

"I know there’s some issues with how it’s been managed, but I think overall it will make it better for people," one rider said.

Others, meanwhile, don't see the property tax as a solution.

"I agree there are a lot of problems with BART, but this doesn’t seem to be the solution," another rider said.

More than 450,000 people on average ride BART each day, and the system is badly in need of upgrades and repairs.

"When BART was built, it was state of the art, and now our infrastructure needs significant investment to be safe and realiable," BART director Nick Josefowitz said.

If that investment is Measure RR, it would cost homeowners in the three designated counties about $9 per $100,000 of their homes’ assessed valuation annually.

"They mismanaged the running of the system, whether it’s escalators or elevators that don’t work, fake security cameras," state Sen. Steve Glazer said. "We know we will have to invest in the system, but let’s get a plan that lays out all the costs."

The BART board has almost an entirely new makeup from what it had a few years ago.

"That new board is really focused on bring the system back into a state of repair," Josefowitz said.

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